Bereavement & Probate
When the death of a partner or close family friend occurs, in addition to the grief, distress and anxiety comes the burden of administration and legal requirements when you are least able to cope with it. At Brittons, our experience staff can help ensure that the executor of the will or administrator complies with their legal responsibilities, assist with the terms of the will or intestacy rules, and assist with the sale of property assets or management of inheritance tax issues.
If you have suffered a recent bereavement and would like some help and advice on dealing with the administration of the legal implications please call us on 01628 533 350
When there is a Will
The main actions that the executor will need to carry out are to:
- Write to all asset and liability holders requesting confirmation of the value of the asset or liability of the deceased at the time of death and any income received in the last year
- Establish if the estate is solvent
- Establish if there is sufficient monies to meet all legacies in full
- Ascertain if inheritance tax is applicable and if so complete form IHT400
- Arrange to pay probate fees and inheritance tax
- Complete and return all forms to the Probate Registry
- Place the statutory advertisement for creditors and other claimants
- Collect all assets due to the estate
- Complete a valuation of all property through the district valuer and arrange payment of any extra taxes due
- Complete all income tax and capital gains tax forms for the period of administration
- Pay off all debts
- Transfer title deeds of any stocks and shares
- Prepare the estate accounts
- Administer any trusts or life interests
- Distribute the assets to the beneficiaries of the will on approval of the estate accounts
What if there is no Will (intestate)
If the person died intestate, i.e. no written Will can be traced, then the hierarchy of distribution of the deceased assets is determined by law. This can be a complicated process and can take a long time – months or even years in complex cases. It is a good idea to gather together all the information that you have about the deceased, their relatives and their assets and bring it along with you to a meeting with your solicitor.
A brief guide to the rules of intestacy and who will inherit can be found on the HRMC website here
We normally calculate our probate fees as a fixed percentage of the gross value of the estate that we are dealing with. This ranges from 1.2% to 6% (including VAT) of the value of the estate.